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City of Seattle Passes Legislation to Create More Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

SEATTLE- As part of "The Grand Bargain" that came out of a task force called the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), the Seattle City Council recently passed legislation that requires office and apartment developers to pay a fee to fund the construction of affordable housing. 

When initially proposed, real estate developers were opposed; however, a “grand bargain” was struck between developers and affordable housing advocates where builders will be able to build larger projects. 

The amount of the fee would depend on the location. In downtown Seattle and South Lake Union, the fee would range from $8 to $17.50 per square foot. Outside of that area, the fee would range from $5 to $8 per square foot depending on the neighborhood. The fee is not expected to begin until early next year when companion zoning changes that will allow developers to build larger projects is approved. That will initially begin in downtown and South Lake Union and the plan is to implement the fee citywide by the end of 2017. The fee is expected to generate $196 million over 10 years.

The Seattle City Council also approved a resolution that lays out a plan for the city to implement mandatory inclusionary zoning. The council is scheduled to address legislation for that in 2016. 

 

Source: Puget Sound Business Journal, Washington Multi-Family Housing Association